This week, a consortium of Portland-area agencies announced grants totaling $5.4 million dollars, and 16 Section 8 project-based vouchers, had been awarded to six housing projects.
They were selected in part because the majority of these projects will be able to provide leased units for the area's most vulnerable homeless population by July 1.
Together, the projects provide 37 new units of permanent housing while creating or preserving an additional 160 units of housing affordable to low-income households.
"Until every person in our community has a safe, stable home, we need to make sure that our limited resources are serving the people who need our help the most," said City Commissioner Nick Fish. "These grants show our commitment to directing our resources to the most vulnerable people first."
The City's Bureau of Housing and Community Development made federal and local capital funds available for the grant awards, with additional resources contributed by the Housing Authority of Portland, Multnomah County, and the Portland Development Commission.
This is the third year these funders have collaborated to meet the goals in the City/County Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness by pooling resources and setting criteria jointly to promote the development of specific types of housing.
City officials say that one of the main criteria for receiving funding was the ability to complete work and have the project ready for occupancy by the end of the fiscal year, a departure from past procedures.
After a survey of homeless adults conducted in October and November 2008 revealed that more than 650 people with life-threatening medical conditions were risking death by living on the street, city and county leaders made a decision to focus available resources on providing suitable housing for them as soon as possible.
The funders also provided interactive technical assistance to local agencies before proposals were due, to help them to develop applications that would meet the policy goals.
Awards were announced to the following six projects:
Villa de Suenos: 6706 NE Killingsworth Ave., the project consists of six two-story buildings containing 28 three and four bedroom large family units. This project was awarded four Project Based Section 8 vouchers, creating four permanent housing units and preserving 28 total units of affordable housing.
Sacred Heart Villa: 3911 SE Milwaukie Ave., this is an existing 68-unit project that includes commercial space currently occupied by Providence physical therapy and Loaves and Fishes. This project was awarded $3,465,000 in capital funding and 12 Project-Based Section 8 vouchers, creating 12 housing units and preserving 68 total units of affordable housing.
CSI: 55 NE 148th Ave., this is an existing building zoned for adult foster care. The project will serve developmentally disabled adults referred by the "On the Move" program and is a high priority for the state and county developmental disability programs. It leverages intensive services payments from the state and moves a very vulnerable population out of institutions into long term community housing. The project was awarded $215,000 in capital funding, creating four housing units.
Rose Wood: 4810 NE Sandy Blvd., this is a supportive alcohol- and drug-free community for low-income and homeless persons living with HIV/AIDS. The project was awarded $937,000 of capital funding, preserving 36 total units of affordable housing.
Kehillah Housing: 6125 SW Boundary St., along the Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway, the project will create 14 one bedroom units for people with developmentally disabilities. The project was awarded $275,000 of capital funding, creating 14 total units of affordable housing, including 2 housing units.
Rockwood Building: NE 181st St. and Couch in Gresham. In addition to 47 affordable apartments, this mixed-use project will include commercial space for the developer, Human Solutions Inc., Head Start, Loaves and Fishes, and five other nonprofits. The project was awarded $511,333 of capital funding, creating 47 total units of affordable housing, including 15 housing units.